Dad's Army museum gets a make-over

THE Dad's Army Museum in Thetford welcomed visitors into its newly expanded premises this weekend.

THE Dad's Army Museum in Thetford welcomed visitors into its newly expanded premises this weekend.

The tribute to the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard was opened by writer David Croft 18 months ago as a shrine to the popular sitcom's links with the area.

But officials from the tourist attraction were celebrating after completing a major refit and expansion at the venue in the town's Guildhall.

Hundreds of visitors got a first peek of the new-look former fire station and council store room, off Cage Lane, over the bank holiday weekend following the completion of the project, which was funded by a �10,000 grant from the National Lottery.

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Officials from the Friends of Thetford Dad's Army Museum spoke of their delight at the improvements, which are hoped to attract even more fans of the BBC comedy series to the town.

The lottery funding has allowed the group to double the size of the museum after securing permission from Thetford Town Council to take over a neighbouring store room.

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Work began in January to transform the site with new timber flooring and lighting, and to

furnish it with more displays, photographs and memorabilia about Dad's Army, which was filmed in and around Thetford between 1968 and 1977.

It comes after thousands of people descended on the town last summer to mark the 40th anniversary of the hit television show featuring Captain Mainwaring and his band of Home Guard misfits. The museum, which is open every Saturday between 10am and 2pm, has received more than 6,000

visitors since its opening in December 2007.

Corinne Fulford, project manager of the refurbishment scheme, said the interest in Dad's Army had increased since the anniversary celebrations.

“It is huge. The interest has been there all along and we are tapping into that. The anniversary sharpened the imagination and people come from all over the country to see us. A lot of people are finding us online and the tours are going from strength to strength.”

“We have achieved so much in 12 months, but we have so many more ideas and we don't want to stop. We do need to get more volunteers on board though,” she said.

The Friends group have their eyes on another adjoining building in the Guildhall to create a 1940s-style tea room and are almost halfway to reaching a �20,000 target for a Capt Mainwaring statue in Thetford.

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